Business bankruptcies increase 67% in 2008

| Print |  Email
Sunday, February 01, 2009

STATEWIDE — Business bankruptcies rose 67% in Oregon in 2008, as the growing financial crisis leaves businesses big and small struggling to stay afloat.


The U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Oregon recorded 405 commercial filings, up from 242 the year prior. And barely one month into the new year, bankruptcy and insolvency lawyers in Portland are already seeing an influx of filings.

“There are a number of things coming together to create an unprecedented situation,” says Perkins Coie partner Douglas Pahl. “It doesn’t feel like a normal cycle.”

While filings of each business bankruptcy chapter rose last year, the increase in organizations seeking Chapter 11 protection is especially notable. Chapter 11 filings rose to 61, nearly triple the 23 filings recorded last year. While protection under Chapter 11 is not limited to businesses and can include individual filings, the clerk’s office estimates that around 90% of the 61 are business filings.

While the recession has left few industries unscathed, the real estate and retail sectors were especially hard hit in 2008. Real estate developers including Renaissance Homes and Legend Homes were just a few to go into Chapter 11. Other businesses tied closely to the industry also felt the ripple effects. Contractors, engineers, and even some lawyers took a hit when Oregon’s major real estate developers sought bankruptcy protection.

Industry experts predict that the growing swell in retail business insolvencies could turn into a full-on flood in 2009. Post-holiday profit drops paired with a slowdown in consumer spending will continue to challenge many retailers’ financial viability.

Tightened credit markets are proving especially troublesome to business owners on the verge of bankruptcy and those already entrenched in reorganization or liquidation proceedings. Debtors are finding it nearly impossible to refinance, sell or find outside parties interested in acquiring their businesses. “The credit markets are not there to provide an alternative,” says Pahl.    

NICOLE STORMBERG



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

More Articles

Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

Crowdfunding 2.0

News
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
120214-crowdfund-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with attorney Erich Merrill about the latest way to raise money from large groups of people.


Read more...

Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Read more...

Election Season

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We didn’t intend this issue to have an election season theme. But politics has a way of seeping into the cracks and fissures.


Read more...

Three problems with Obama's immigration order

News
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR112614-immigration-thumb

By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS